There were plenty of people talking the talk about the recent shift in immigration policy granting relief from deportation for young immigrants eligible for the DREAM Act.
But activist Gaby Pacheco was one to walk the walk, literally.
Pacheco and three other DREAM students earned attention in 2010 by walking 1500 miles from Miami, Fla., to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness for the roughly 2 million people brought to the United States as minors — people that may now be eligible for deferred action through the Obama Administration’s recent policy shift. A gifted student who is now 27 years old, Pacheco grew up in Florida after coming to the U.S. from Ecuador as a child.
This Independence Day, Pacheco was in Omaha visiting with Nebraska students who may be eligible for deferred action through the new guidelines that protect many immigrants from deportation if they are under the age of 30, came to the U.S. as minors, serve their community, and do not have a serious criminal record.
Pacheco shared pizza with the students and answered many questions about the new immigration policy. She advised the students to seek help from qualified immigration attorneys and begin gathering as many documents as they could that would prove they were eligible for the deferred action including:
- School records
- Birth certificates
- High school diploma or GED
- Military service record
- Employment records
Pacheco herself is eligible for the deferred action for DREAMers and shared with students her hope of going back to school to earn a law degree so she can help other immigrants in her community. Learn more about Gaby Pacheco’s story in this Q and A from Americas Quarterly.
Unsure about DREAM eligibility? Check out UnitedWeDream.org for great resources and tips on how to apply for deferred action.